The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will now be calling tenders for the construction of NELe this month and construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2018.
The earlier completion is intended to support developments in the Punggol North area. The LTA has also announced the alignment and a new station location for the NELe.
Developments in Punggol North include new residential estates as well as the Punggol Digital District, Singapore’s pilot enterprise district, which includes Singapore Institute of Technology’s (SIT) new campus.
The new MRT station, tentatively named Punggol Coast Station, will bring the total number of stations on the North East Line to 17, including five interchange stations.
NELe will enhance connectivity from Punggol North to the city centre as well as other parts of Singapore, cutting down travelling time by up to 15 minutes.
The use of ‘design thinking’ was adopted in the conceptualisation of the Punggol Coast Station. LTA conducted studies and prototyped concepts to improve the commuting experience and incorporated several into the design of the station. For instance, the Punggol Coast Station will have more open public spaces as the commuters surveyed told the LTA that they would like more space at stations for interaction and meet-ups, rather than using the station merely as a means to get from point to point. LTA will also explore a concept called “delightful moments” in the station where the community, including students, will have a dedicated space to showcase exhibits such as their school projects.
LTA deputy chief executive (public transport, policy & planning) Jeremy Yap said: “This is the first time we have used such an approach when designing a station. We envision the station to be a vibrant community hub that brings commuters together in the heart of Punggol North. Unique to the Punggol Coast Station will be more open public spaces inside the station for friends and colleagues to socialise. Those who will be working and learning within the future Punggol Digital District will be able to organise various activities at these spaces.”